Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More On The Versace "Mafia Hit"

 An intriguing new theory about the murder of famous designer Gianni Versace has surfaced, this time from Versace's long time lover, the designer Antonio D'Amico.
Antonio D'Amico
D'Amico & Versace

D'Amico was speaking a few nights ago on the popular Italian entertainment program Verissimo.
In an interview with the host Silvia Toffanin he was asked about the murder and replied -"someone sent him"- referring to the alleged killer Andrew Cunanan.
 D'Amico says he struggles to believe that Cunanan would just turn up and kill Versace for no reason.

"In my opinion someone sent him (Cunanan)". Asked to elaborate, Antonio gives an enigmatic reply:
"it's my belief someone who knew Gianni very well, someone who was extremely close to him, sent his assassin. There is no evidence but the truth will come out one day"

D'Amico was a former model who began working in Versace's office in 1982 where he began a relationship with the designer that lasted until his murder. There is little love lost between Antonio and Gianni's sister Donatella Versace and brother Santo.

In Gianni's will D'Amico was left a legacy of around $26,000 a month for life and the right to live in any of Versace's several homes around the world.
Silvia Toffanin

By the time Donatella, Santo and their lawyers were finished, D'Amico received a fraction of his pension and never saw the inside of a Versace house again. Donatella is on record as saying she never liked Gianni's boyfriend. D'Amico now runs his own successful fashion design business.

And where does this leave the claim by two Mafia informants that Gianni Versace was murdered over debts to the Mafia who they say had invested earlier on in his fashion design corporation ?

P.I. Frank Monte
Those claims were published by the respected Italian investigative reporter Gianluigi Nuzzi in his 2010 book Metastasi which has been a best seller in Europe with an English version in the works.
At the time a furious Santo Versace threatened to sue anyone who repeated the Mafia hit claim. Nonetheless it was printed in hundreds of newspapers around the world and not one, including author Nuzzi has received notice from solicitors.

It's far cry from 2003 when Santo and Donatella hauled Australian private eye Frank Monte into the Australian Federal Court for making the same claim in his best selling autobiography Spying Game.
Monte had worked for Gianni in New York investigating Versace's fears that an insider was cooking the books. The Versace's spent millions of dollars to silence Monte and Pan McMillan had to pulp 26,000 copies of his book which was later published without the Versace Mafia link.

Frank Monte is restrained by the Federal Court from discussing the Nuzzi claims that mirror his own and the Australian media had a field day during the highly publicized Monte court case but oddly, have been largely silent over Nuzzi's book. Only weeks before Nuzzi published his book the Shuttle spoke to several tabloid writers who scoffed at Monte's original claim and were equally vocal when it was revealed he was investigating the David Jones sexual harassment claim. That turned out to be true.

Monte will not return calls about D'Amico's claim and our legal eagle expert says :
"Monte would still be restrained by the original court orders so probably steers clear of any discussion over the Versaces" " Mind you" he continued " I can't see Donatella or Santo taking him on again if he did speak to the media. Donatello could be called to explain the inconsistent evidence she gave to the Sydney court under oath where she claimed, surrounded by lawyers during a satellite link-up,that she had never ever taken drugs and then 2 years later gave an interview to Vogue magazine where she said she had been addicted to drugs before and after Versace's death. Courts don't take kindly to being treated like mugs"